Tulip Time!

tulip 1

photo by Kivanc Nis, Creative Commons

The season for Tulips is just concluding in the Netherlands. Didn’t catch this year’s festivities of buds and blossoms? Never fear—it’s not too early to plan a 2014 tulip trip!

The Netherlands has a long history with these colorful little buds. Ever since the Dutch Golden Age introduced the tulip to Europe from the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands have nurtured a passion and some might even say mania for tulips. During blooming season from March to May, the Netherlands offers dozens of ways and places to enjoy these beloved flowers.

Like everything that is weather-dependent, the blooming season of tulips is unpredictable. Late springs can lead to missing the blossoms in March. The safest bet to catch the blooms is mid-April. The most well-known bulb region in the Netherlands lies between Haarlem and Sassenheim. This area includes the small village of Lisse, 30 miles southwest of Amsterdam and less than an hour away.

You can catch the bus from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Keukenhof gardens. Once there, you can rent a bike outside the garden entrance for about 10 euros. If you prefer more private transportation, book a guided tour, which includes coach rides and prepaid entrance fees. You can also enjoy the gardens as a shore excursion.

tulip3

photo by bertknot, Creative Commons

Another major tulip event is the Netherlands’ annual Flower Parade, held one Saturday in April. Floats, luxury cars, dancers and musicians travel along the 40-km route from Noordwijk to Haarlem. It’s an all day event—so pack a lunch!

Looking for a unique way to enjoy the tulip season? Several river cruises have opened for sale for 2014, some of which even focus on the tulip festivals. Cruise companies typically award early booking savings to their fore-thinking customers. Avalon Waterways has deals of up to $1000 per couple off for 2014, and Viking River Cruises is offering an Early Booking Discount that expires May 31, 2013.

A trip to Europe not in the stars next Spring? For a tulip festival closer to home, check out Skagit Valley, a.k.a. “tulip town,” in northwest Washington State. Here, you can enjoy indoor tulip displays and outdoor gardens, visit bulb shops, kite displays and snack bars. Snap a photo with your family in front of the picturesque windmill. You can even wander the fields aboard a tractor-pulled carriage. You can even purchase some tulips at one of the stands. These are not harvested until late summer or early fall, after which the bulbs are shipped to your home.

tulip4

photo by Hisa Fujimoto, Creative Commons

Missed the Tulips this Year? Call us for your trip in 2014!

If you want to catch the famous Dutch tulip fields in bloom, book your trip today to the Netherlands for Spring 2014. It’s not too early!

Delta flies nonstop from Portland to Amsterdam everyday once a day. Call Wittravel to book your trip today. We can arrange your flight and hotel reservations, and advise on the best activities in and around the Netherlands.

Leave a comment

Filed under Avalon Waterway, Europe, Netherlands, Viking Cruises

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s